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Source: (consider it) Thread: AS: EFM
comet

Snowball in Hell
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help!

TR...?

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

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Mamacita

Lakefront liberal
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Theological Reflection. It's a type of guided discussion in which the participants try to draw connections between their faith and their daily lives.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Foaming Draught
The Low in Low Church
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Theological Reflection. Which rarely is.
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comet

Snowball in Hell
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thank you, carry on.

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

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Autenrieth Road

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Fair enough, RuthW.

Evensnog, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. That sucks spectacularly.

Foaming Draught, not Theological or not Reflection? And what would make it more so? Are you speaking from within an EFM context, or from a larger context? (Which would be fine too -- I'm trying to understand more of it larger than the EFM method.)

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Truth

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Mamacita:
Theological Reflection. It's a type of guided discussion in which the participants try to draw connections between their faith and their daily lives.

Unfortunately (if I may resurrect a moribund thread - if I may mix my metonymies) in EFM the connections are usually between cataclysmic scriptural events - (tonight's was the arrest in the Garden) with relatively minor personal events (an ingrown toenail, a flu injection) with the Virginia shooting thrown in as a further comparison. [Ultra confused]

Excuse me: 33 dead has a connection to an ingrown toenail has a connection to the arrest and journey to Crucifixion? Yeah right. [Roll Eyes]

I have concerns.

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Mamacita

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Always glad to have this thread resurrected, or at least resuscitated. [Biased] I want to throw my two cents' into this, because there are a couple of things in the OP that send up red flags for me, but I'm about to leave for a diocesan thing this evening.

In the meantime, Zappa, can you tell us a little about the mentor of the group in question and the group itself (e.g., is it mixed-years or mostly beginners)? And what your chief concerns are? (I have concerns too, I just don't want to assume that yours and mine are the same.)

Would love to see the other experienced EFMers here weigh in on this too. Great discussion (re)-starter!

[ 18. April 2007, 21:55: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Autenrieth Road

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Have we been left to each write our own creative fleshing out of Zappa's TR? [evil grin]I can so imagine making a cautionary skit "How not to do a TR"[/evil grin]

Anyone have Year 2 thoughts?

I am, due to falling behind & now trying to catch up, reading each of the Gospels in a week [Eek!] , about to embark on John. Actually, I'm cutting to the Acts commentary momentarily, following the Raymond Brown's order. (The benefits of being the sole year 2 in my group!) Still!

It's like reading the NT from a firehose. Not sure if taking 2 weeks per Gospel, as EFM schedules, would help that much more. Makes me realize how seldom I read and think about the Gospels as a whole. Snippets parcelled out week by week in the lectionary. (I'm not, mea culpa, a daily lectionary reader, but even that I believe wouldn't have the cumulative effect of reading all the Gospels in quick succession.)

Wierdly, it has me grappling with, and flattened by, the notion of Gospels written differently for different audiences. Watching the changes in Mark that Matthew makes, smoothing out the edges. I hadn't realed I was hoping to find THE TRUTH during year 2 of EFM, but there it is, turns out I was.

Even grappling with the contradictory things said within any one Gospel is mind-blowing.

I'm partly looking forward to the Epistles -- still hoping come to understand them zzzzzappp immediately upon reading the EFM and Brown chapters about them -- and partly thinking Year 2 is just a staging area for a lifetime of ever-bemused study of this ever-baffling collection of books.

I do like Acts -- lots of action!

What does anyone think? Similar/different experience?

[ 26. April 2007, 21:45: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

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Autenrieth Road

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(clarifying something I don't think I said clearly the first time)

What surprises me about being flattened by the differences, is that -- although I've known about that in my head for a long time, and given it lip service, and done a very few comparisons of specific passages to see "Oh, yes, Luke is concerned with this, Matthew with that, etc." -- and thought I accepted it all -- but what surprises me, is how very unsettling I'm finding it right now.

[ 26. April 2007, 21:52: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

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Mamacita

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I have *got* to get me a copy of Brown. Sadly, I won't have any Y2s in my group next year, and I had probably best spend my summer reacquainting myself with the OT and some of the great commentaries recommeded by the Keryg crowd.

AR, one piece of advice I got from an old mentor, and which I now pass on is, if you get hopelessly behind, just skip what you missed and devote yourself to the upcoming week's reading. (And promise yourself you'll read what you missed over the summer.) You would do well to spend the time on John, as he's not an easy read! (There's also a pretty cool Keryg discussion thread on John if you want to kill a few hours!)

In the upcoming chapters on the Epistles, you might have seen in the table of contents that you get three weeks on Romans. That's a good time to sink your teeth into Paul's theology. If you get behind on some of the other Epistles, you'll still have a good grounding with Romans.

And yes, I think you've made a wonderful point about this year being a foundation that you can revisit as the Gospels are read for the rest of your life. Sometimes I think we're getting such a shallow read of things in EFM, but then, I sit in church on Sundays and realize that I (speaking for all EFMers) know more about the lections than a lot of the folks in the pews.

Zappa? I've been thinking so much about your observation and, yeah, sometimes the TRs just fall flat. I've seen it get kind of dicey when it comes time in the TR to identify the high point of the story (or the metaphor or whatever) with some moment in one's own life. I guess some folks either live very dull lives or, more likely, engage in so little self-reflection that they just don't bring much to the party.

On the other hand, I've got one woman in the group who takes off on such personal tangents during TRs that it's all I can do not to jump across the room and throttle her. She's been away for two weeks and it's so much more relaxed... (I am an evil mentor.)

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Autenrieth Road

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Three weeks on Romans? [Eek!] I'm dreading the Epistles now! Though I should probably be dreading it more if it were 1 week!

I'm not as behind as it seems -- we're off-cycle so taking a break for July & August but not actually finishing the "year" until October.

I like Brown's sections setting the location and audience of each NT book, and the issues raised by it. Sewanee's materials are leaving me rather colder at the moment. Though there's several chapters on historical Jesus research which I think lead up to talking about coming out with faith on the other side, which I'm looking forward to. (ETA: "faith on the other side" -- meaning, historical Jesus research can't find all the answers, and there's something else. Since it's HJR that started me reading the Bible a lot, this is close to me and the things I puzzle over.)

I still wish our TRs were as concrete as starting with a story, identifying the high/energy point, etc. However, we have reached an agreed place of explicitly trying to dig deeper and apply what we're reading in our lives, so that's good.

I think there's a TR course at the seminary, which I'd like to take.

[ 27. April 2007, 03:56: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Mamacita:
In the meantime, Zappa, can you tell us a little about the mentor of the group in question and the group itself (e.g., is it mixed-years or mostly beginners)? And what your chief concerns are? (I have concerns too, I just don't want to assume that yours and mine are the same.)

Oops. [Hot and Hormonal] Sorry. Forgot to check back on this thread!

It's a mixed years group (with an outed "mole", too! [Hot and Hormonal] ) I'm there by invitation as an observer, although I have been a mentor in the past.

I'm afraid I'm not articulate enough to - er - articulate my concerns. It's just that somehow in the process of making connections between experience and tradition groups groups always manage to make crucifixions out of ingrown toenails. I've never in 20 years on and off heard a connection made between a life experience and something more mundanely prosaic in the narrative tradition (say a "begat" or someone meeting someone or something boringly unmelodramatic like that).

At one level this could give a sense that yes, our lives are enormously dramatic/important to God. On the other hand, realistically, is my ingrown toenail really a comparable to the cry of dereliction from the Cross, or my missed phone call really a Forty year experience in the wilderness?

Is there room for ennui in EFM?

I dunno. I guess I'm not putting it very well. Don't worry about it. I'm just a dry (would-be) academic [Disappointed] . Or maybe I'm a voice, crying in the wilderness, a prophet walking through a city, a prophet without honour in his her ... whateva [Roll Eyes]

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Amazing Grace

High Church Protestant
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Three weeks on Romans? [Eek!] I'm dreading the Epistles now! Though I should probably be dreading it more if it were 1 week!

I'm not as behind as it seems -- we're off-cycle so taking a break for July & August but not actually finishing the "year" until October.

I like Brown's sections setting the location and audience of each NT book, and the issues raised by it. Sewanee's materials are leaving me rather colder at the moment. Though there's several chapters on historical Jesus research which I think lead up to talking about coming out with faith on the other side, which I'm looking forward to. (ETA: "faith on the other side" -- meaning, historical Jesus research can't find all the answers, and there's something else. Since it's HJR that started me reading the Bible a lot, this is close to me and the things I puzzle over.)

I still wish our TRs were as concrete as starting with a story, identifying the high/energy point, etc. However, we have reached an agreed place of explicitly trying to dig deeper and apply what we're reading in our lives, so that's good.

We have good days, and bad days on that. I'm a lot more "engaged" than last year. Sewanee's materials have had the occasional "hit" for me this year, though. (Otherwise it's, "ok, so I spent $340 for *this* crap?")

I was scheduled to co-lead Common Lesson 5 (Finding your Ministry) but was unwell [Frown] .

You'll want the three weeks on Romans! It is rather the heart of the matter.

I've been rather struck by the time-warp thing - Gospels written after most of the Epistles.

My only beef at the moment, and it's minor, is that one of our number now goes on a lot of sidebar conversations (or needs to do a lot of "sharing") and it's lengthy waiting for her to finish. I love her but it's driving me bugs.

Charlotte

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Memory Eternal! Sheep 3, Phil the Wise Guy, and Jesus' Evil Twin in the SoF Nativity Play

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Mamacita

Lakefront liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Is there room for ennui in EFM?

Not intentionally, but ennui manages to march in and sit her fat ass down.

I've been struggling with her the last several weeks. That may seem strange (or perhaps a comeuppance) to the readers of this thread, since I'm usually the one playing EFM Cheerleader. The sad truth is, I haven't put the mental work into preparing myself to lead TRs. We've had some good discussions on the text, but I haven't had the mental energy to lead a decent TR in a couple of months.

When TRs work -- and I have seen them work -- they can be transformative experiences, truly Christian formation at its best. I guess TRs are like sex. Sometimes the earth moves. Sometimes they're just "nice." Sometimes...

Well, *somebody's* had a little too much pino grigio, and needs to get to sleep.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Autenrieth Road

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What mental work do you find goes into preparing to lead TRs?

My within-the-ranks encouragement mode goes like this: "story, high point, four facets (society/tradition/faith/action), four jargon thingies (sin/repentance/redemption/...)". Then I try to see if I can be detached enough from the conversation to remember if I can ask or add one of those, in a way that fits in the conversation.

As you can see, I haven't mastered the four jargon thingies! Plus I need to learn the non-jargon questions/words for them.

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Truth

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Mamacita

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My group had a terrific year-end celebration last night. (I have the headache to prove it.) There was one thing that really knocked my socks off: when I presented our one graduate with her certificate, she started crying and said, "This is my first diploma." Now, I had heard her spiritual autobiography four times and knew somewhere in the back of my mind that she had been a high school dropout, but this is one of those things where the significance of it just doesn't click until you're right there in the moment. It was very touching and humbling.

How did things end up for the rest of you? (I know not everyone is on an academic-year schedule.) Plans to continue next year?

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Evensnog
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Oh, Mamacita, that is so touching! I'm a bit weepy, just reading about it.

We've got one last class this year. As you may remember, my group was experiencing some very rocky, toxic dynamics. It got a bit better, the most disruptive member of the group transfered to another group.

We stopped doing TRs ages ago, because they always turned into discussions about extremely personal issues and ingrown toenails (ie, comparing someone's adulthood experience with incontinence to the Crucifixion). While I know a few of the newer group members were disappointed in the lack of TR as Road To Damascus Experience, it did make the sessions run more smoothly.

We've also glossed over most of the Common Lessons, so I'm curious to hear if others have actually been doing them, finding them useful, etc.

As far as next year - I don't know, yet. I definitely have issues with aspects of the program, but there are parts I truly enjoy. I've heard that many consider the Yr 2 materials to be the most poorly written - thoughts on this? What's the quality of the Yr 3 stuff?

[ 06. June 2007, 19:23: Message edited by: Evensnog ]

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Autenrieth Road

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Mamacita, what a great story.

Evensnog, in my group the Common Lessons (apart from Common Lesson 2 on Theological Reflection [Roll Eyes] ) reliably spark good discussions, where people feel engaged rather than "whatever was this all about?" We space the CL's out over the year and devote several weeks to discussing each one, where the CL takes the place of the resentful half-hearted pseudo-TR we would otherwise be doing.

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Truth

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Mamacita

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Evensnog, we spent about 3 weeks each on Common Lessons 3, 4, and 5. The CL&SM book has quite a lot of material for each of them, and I sometimes bring in other questions or exercises to play with around the same topic. (I was blessed to have a terrific mentor, and I'm so glad I kept a lot of my old material from her.)

I have to do another mentor certification this summer and hope to take the "advanced TR" course.
quote:
TR as Road To Damascus Experience
LOL! Somebody earlier on this thread said that TRs were a lot like sex; sometimes the earth moves and sometimes it doesn't.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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TubaMirum
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We will be finished in another couple of weeks.

I did like EFM, and plan to continue with Year 2 next year. I've read books of the Bible I've been meaning to read for ages - like all of Isaiah, for one. And I'd never read Judges before, which believe it or not I loved. I liked my group, and we did have some good discussions; I think that will probably continue next year, because most of us were Year 1. I liked having multiple years in one group, even though at first I couldn't picture how it would work. It makes it much more interesting.

What a great story, Mamacita. That brings tears to my eyes, too.

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Autenrieth Road

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TubaMirum, what did you love about Judges?

~ ~ ~

I've been thinking about how EFM, as a self-motivated adult course, rewards as much as I put in. And if I don't put in a lot, it doesn't reward me as much as if I put in more.

If I expect it to be a particular way, it can be disappointing when meetings don't go into what I wanted to hear about. This week I realized I need to be less controlling about how I want it to be. Put in my preparation outside, and then go willing to allow it to be however it is that week.

I've been poking about the Canada EFM website and found some links about group dynamics (e.g. this one). Group dynamics fascinates me and is important for me to understand better, to be able to figure out how to function in groups of the EFM size -- I just realized tonight (after two years of EFM!) that this is exactly the size of group that I have the hardest time understanding how to function in.

I'll definitely continue because I want to see it all the way through. It's good for me to have a focussed "once-through" on all these topics, even if it is like drinking from a firehose. Also it is my weekly regular "have a churchly group outside of church" group, which since I haven't got such a group at my own church, I'm glad of, and don't want to have to go scrounging for another one prematurely!

[ 07. June 2007, 02:08: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

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Amazing Grace

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Thank you for bumping the thread.

Before I start talking about end of year (we have one more to go), can anyone recommend some good reference books for year 3 (church history) that are aimed at intelligent laypeople? (Instead of being for academics.)

The Raymond Brown "An Introduction to the New Testament" was a big win for Year 2. Thank you.

Charlotte

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maleveque
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The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church is incredibly valuable for years 3 & 4.
Also, throw out, right now, all the stupid non-church history stuff in the EFM binders. Especially that philosophy-in-a-nutshell crap that doesn't do anyone any good. If you had it in college, you're fine. If you didn't, you're not going to get it from EFM. And if you want it, there are way better places to get it from.
Now that our church has a new (YAY!! [Yipee] ) rector, we're probably going to have an EFM group starting in the fall. I will probably co-mentor the group with a friend who has a PhD in pastoral counseling. This is good, because the pastoral stuff is my weakest point and I can learn a lot from her.
Has anyone had experience with co-mentoring? Is it something much done in EFM?
Anne L.
eta: a question mark

[ 07. June 2007, 02:45: Message edited by: maleveque ]

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Life isn't all fricasseed frogs and eel pie.

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
TubaMirum, what did you love about Judges?

Well, I'd always seen the name, and assumed it had to do with the Law and old solemn men in long black robes. Yawn.

But no! Little did I know it was about whackjobs in the desert! And the stories are great - cinematic, really. I can't understand why they haven't made a movie out of it. [Razz]

Seriously, I liked the characters and the stories. It wasn't a bunch of Holy Joes at all, which was a bit of relief at that point from all the hectoring about golden calves and whatnot. (Of course, we end up with more hectoring later, with all the harlots in the prophets.)

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Mamacita

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quote:
Originally posted by maleveque:
I will probably co-mentor the group with a friend who has a PhD in pastoral counseling. This is good, because the pastoral stuff is my weakest point and I can learn a lot from her.
Has anyone had experience with co-mentoring? Is it something much done in EFM?

I co-mentored for a year with my former mentor, who was a very experienced and respected mentor. I refer to that year as my "apprenticeship," and I'm very grateful to have had that. But because Barb was clearly the Obi-Wan and I was the mere Padwan learner, it was a little different arrangement than ongoing co-mentoring. Barb ran most of the sessions, but she had me lead several TRs, and I sat in for her a number of times when she had to go out of town. I know that having a back-up made life easier for her that year, and that's got to be a big plus for co-mentoring.

I don't know how prevalent co-mentoring is (in terms of percentage of overall groups), but it must be pretty common because all the group forms you file with Sewanee have space at the top for a mentor and co-mentor.

One suggestion I have heard for co-mentors is that the two of you work out your own set of behavioral norms so you decide ahead of time, for instance, when to intervene in a conversation, how to approach correcting one another, that sort of thing. I think there's a lot to be said for co-mentoring, especially when there's a good blend of skills and aptitudes.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Evensnog
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As always, it's interesting to hear the wide range of experiences everyone has with EFM. (Last year, we did all the CL's, spending about 20-30 minutes on each. This year, I think we only did the first 3, again, spending about 20-30 minutes.
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Campbellite

Ut unum sint
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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
I can't understand why they haven't made a movie out of it. [Razz]

I guess you've never seen this little Cecil B. DeMille number?

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I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Campbellite:
quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
I can't understand why they haven't made a movie out of it. [Razz]

I guess you've never seen this little Cecil B. DeMille number?
I forgot about that. I think I did see it once, way back - but the book was better. [Razz]
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TubaMirum
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I wanted to say that I don't know the difference between "Common Lessons" and "Theological Reflections."

I know the CLs are in the other BOB (Big Old Book) - but aren't Theological Reflections part of the Common Lessons themselves?

I'm a bit confused about this, I guess....

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Autenrieth Road

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You're right, TubaMirum. The CLs in the BOB include an explanation of TRs. They also include lots of other stuff.

Common Lesson 2 explains Theological Reflection methods. This is in some ways an "informational" Common Lesson about something that in principle AIUI is part of many of the group's sessions all year.

This is similar in my mind to Common Lesson 1 which explains Spiritual Autobiography methods so the group can use them.

Other Common Lessons break out of "what shall we do in the group" and go into the rest of our faith and ministry life. They include (with the Year A specific subtopics in parentheses):
  • CL3 Life in Christ (Sabbath Time)
  • CL4 Theological Frameworks (Mapping Your System of Theology)
  • CL5 Looking to the Future (Planning Your Ministry)
There are more CL's than that -- I think the BOB goes up to chapter 7. (I'm working off my EFM outline without the BOB in front of me.) The first four subsections of each CL go with each of the EFM years A, B, C, D. Then each CL has additional enrichment subsections. I like delving in and browsing the BOB.

--------------------
Truth

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
You're right, TubaMirum. The CLs in the BOB include an explanation of TRs. They also include lots of other stuff.

Common Lesson 2 explains Theological Reflection methods. This is in some ways an "informational" Common Lesson about something that in principle AIUI is part of many of the group's sessions all year.

This is similar in my mind to Common Lesson 1 which explains Spiritual Autobiography methods so the group can use them.

Other Common Lessons break out of "what shall we do in the group" and go into the rest of our faith and ministry life. They include (with the Year A specific subtopics in parentheses):
  • CL3 Life in Christ (Sabbath Time)
  • CL4 Theological Frameworks (Mapping Your System of Theology)
  • CL5 Looking to the Future (Planning Your Ministry)
There are more CL's than that -- I think the BOB goes up to chapter 7. (I'm working off my EFM outline without the BOB in front of me.) The first four subsections of each CL go with each of the EFM years A, B, C, D. Then each CL has additional enrichment subsections. I like delving in and browsing the BOB.
And we will keep this CL BOB for all four years, correct? I guess I'll get more familiar with it as we go along; I've read what I was supposed to read, but didn't always get the point.

It's sort of hard to figure out what's going on the first year, all in all. There's so much to read, and everything's new.

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Autenrieth Road

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Yes, yes, and yes!

After 2 years I've just about made peace with the BOB's numbering scheme: "this week's reading will be CL 4.2.(Q).3-49*6c."

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Truth

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Mamacita

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I learned very early on to give explicit directions about what pages to read in the BOB. The numbering system is nuts, but hey -- I used to write procedure manuals and training materials, and am convinced that there is NO good page numbering system out there. [Big Grin]

Chapters 6 & 7 in the BOB are supplements. Chapter 6 has all kinds of nifty facilitation stuff, and Chapter 7 has a lot of information on liturgy. It's all fun to browse through and try to figure out how to sprinkle this stuff into your group life.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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TubaMirum
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I haven't really read much of the CL book; as I said, it's hard enough to get through the Bible readings and the Chapter. (I never did read Numbers or Joshua!)

But I enjoyed the year and the discussions a lot. And really, it's a good way for us to discipline ourselves to read the Bible, and to get informed about the most recent scholarship. Because of the arguments over homosexuality for the past 20 years or so, I'd had to read some of these things anyway, but was glad to get into more history and more depth in EFM. You can really blame the "religious" right, actually, for my interest in Bible and thus for my taking the course! They've created a monster. [Razz]

At the end of our TRs, BTW, we always wrote a Collect on the topic of what we'd "come to believe about God" in the TR - another exercise I enjoyed immensely. It's fun to be Cranmer for a few minutes a week! [Biased]

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Amazing Grace

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quote:
Originally posted by maleveque:
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church is incredibly valuable for years 3 & 4.

OK, I've already got that.
quote:
Also, throw out, right now, all the stupid non-church history stuff in the EFM binders. Especially that philosophy-in-a-nutshell crap that doesn't do anyone any good. If you had it in college, you're fine. If you didn't, you're not going to get it from EFM. And if you want it, there are way better places to get it from.
Well, I didn't have it in college, so if you dig out pointers, shoot them at me.
quote:
Now that our church has a new (YAY!! [Yipee] ) rector, we're probably going to have an EFM group starting in the fall.
YAY!

Our group is currently at max (there are 15 of us), so we are not recruiting for year 1, which I think is a shame. I'm going to schmooze the adult ed people again to see about mentoring, etc., so we can start a new group and perhaps merge the two when 8 of the people graduate next June.

Charlotte

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WTFWED? "Remember to always be yourself, unless you suck" - the Gator
Memory Eternal! Sheep 3, Phil the Wise Guy, and Jesus' Evil Twin in the SoF Nativity Play

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Autenrieth Road

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
I haven't really read much of the CL book; as I said, it's hard enough to get through the Bible readings and the Chapter. (I never did read Numbers or Joshua!)

You are sooooooo far ahead of what I managed to read in Year 1!

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Truth

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
I haven't really read much of the CL book; as I said, it's hard enough to get through the Bible readings and the Chapter. (I never did read Numbers or Joshua!)

You are sooooooo far ahead of what I managed to read in Year 1!
Yes, but we don't really have to read the Wisdom Literature, or the Minor Prophets. The Wisdom stuff is all put into the last class of the year (which I'm sure you know), so we skip a lot now. That's a new system, right?

I guess what I'll end up doing is going back over the stuff sometime for more depth. And I never really read any of the recommended supplementary material, either, which I would like to do.

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Mamacita

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quote:
The Wisdom stuff is all put into the last class of the year (which I'm sure you know), so we skip a lot now. That's a new system, right?

When I started with EFM, 7 or 8 years ago (who's counting?), they took a year and a half to get through the OT. What ultimately happened was that the OT was shrunk down to 1 year and the material that is now Year 4 was expanded, due to student demand and the sheer passage of time since the program was started. (For just one example, there was a lot of demand for information about other faith traditions.) It's too bad that those good sections of the OT get scrunched up at the end of the year, but there isn't an ideal solution. Everyone says they'll read the material over the summer! [Biased]

[ 09. June 2007, 01:47: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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TubaMirum
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I love the Wisdom literature above all else in the Hebrew Bible, so I'm sorry there's no time to discuss it. I especially find it nuts that we don't discuss the book of Job! That's surely one of the most important books in the whole Bible - yet it's lumped in with about 7 other things and only one class - the very last! - is alloted to it for discussion. This makes no sense at all.

But at least we do have the recommended supplementary readings. I've never read Job straight through, either, so I will do that as well. But I love Ecclesiastes, too! I can't imagine why they do this, really.

I realize there's an awful lot to cover, but I think maybe they should put the Wisdom literature, at least, back into Year 2. It's crazy to skip it this way.

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Autenrieth Road

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I think I solidly read Genesis and Exodus in Year 1 of EFM, and not much else. I adore the instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle in Exodus.

I was mostly missing in action the 2nd half of year 1, for a lot of reasons, but it wasn't helped by feeling utterly swamped by the sudden ramp-up of reading halfway through, plus the fact that suddenly the reading started being out of order, and not clearly marked. You'd think you'd marked out what OT passages to read, and start reading the EFM chapter, and find 6 other passages tossed in that you ought to read. Very hard for my systematic soul to cope with!

I'd read most of the OT several years ago, but not with any commentary.

I'm really pleased to have stayed much more on top of the reading in Year 2. It's a new experience to read a whole epistle in one lump, taking in the entire effect rather than pausing to nitpick each sentence.

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Truth

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maleveque
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quote:
Originally posted by Amazing Grace:
quote:
Originally posted by maleveque:
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church is incredibly valuable for years 3 & 4.

OK, I've already got that.
quote:
Also, throw out, right now, all the stupid non-church history stuff in the EFM binders. Especially that philosophy-in-a-nutshell crap that doesn't do anyone any good. If you had it in college, you're fine. If you didn't, you're not going to get it from EFM. And if you want it, there are way better places to get it from.
Well, I didn't have it in college, so if you dig out pointers, shoot them at me.
quote:
Now that our church has a new (YAY!! [Yipee] ) rector, we're probably going to have an EFM group starting in the fall.
YAY!

*snip*
Charlotte

Sorry for not getting back on this sooner, Charlotte.
For the history stuff they put in there, go to any good encyclopedia - Britannica would do just fine - and read the articles on the same topics. They are written by authors who are at the top of their field and who SIGN their articles. The EFM material is anonymous (and I believe this makes a BIG difference). If a topic really interests you, look at the bibliography and read the cited works. You can usually get access to the online Britannica through your local public library. For the philosophy, you can do the Britannica thing, or there are several excellent general reference works that give an overview of philosophy ancient and modern.
If you are close to a college or university and can use their library, go to the reference section and talk to the librarians - they'll tell you which books are best for what you want.
Anne L.

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Life isn't all fricasseed frogs and eel pie.

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TubaMirum
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We just had our first meeting this week. We have a large group this year - perhaps 12 people all together, including (2) mentors.

3 year 1; 5 year 2; 1 possible year 3; 1 year 4.

I'm year 2. The reading is almost laughably light for this year, compared to last. I'm really happy to see my group again.

Good luck to all beginning this year, or beginning again!

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Mamacita

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Just catching this before it drops off the bottom of the page! My group starts tomorrow night. We have 4 in year 4, 2 in year 3, and 1 starting in year 1. I persuaded another person at Sunday's coffee hour to come by tomorrow and see if she'd like to join. It would be nice for our year 1 person to have a partner.

I went to mentor training in August (we have to do that every 18 months) and learned that some groups start the year with a retreat. That sounds great, but out of the question for my group at this point. So, we're going to get together for a couple of hours next Sunday afternoon to do our spiritual autobiographies together. I'm trying a different format this year which will hopefully get the old-timers to be a little more reflective and a whole lot less gabby.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Autenrieth Road

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Reflective/gabby on the spiritual autobios in particular, or overall? Any sneak peaks at your different format?

We may be a very small group this year; I'm hoping we can recruit a few more, if only to avoid sliding below the 6-person threshold too easily next year after more of us graduate.

Any thoughts on the Year B Timelines spiritual autobios? Do you talk about the times in your life that happened at the sametime as the historical events you recall? Or do you come up with a different set of personal times in your own life?

I like the idea of the former approach because of reflecting on moments picked by a very different principle than the same old events I usually think of as turning points in my life. I don't know if that's too offbase, or just what EFM is looking for.

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Truth

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Mamacita

Lakefront liberal
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The one in particular is just gabby, period. Her SA the last two years has taken at least 45 minutes. She goes on and on, and it's a challenge to rein her in. I'm going to be firmer with her this year -- less reluctant to interrupt her and more with the, "Excuse me, but can you put that in 'I language'?" I have another one that never prepares anything, just rambles, and it's pretty entertaining, but not necessarily quality work.

The format I'm using is just the Timeline. But first, I'm insisting that everyone use that format instead of letting them do their own thing (as in prior years). I taped up a timeline on a 20'-long piece of banner paper in our parish hall last night and let everyone write in events in the world and in the culture. It was fun -- people trying to remember what year the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, what year the Iraq war started, that sort of thing. They used words and images.

Next week (we bagged the idea of the Sunday afternoon retreat), I'll tape up more paper making the timeline wider, with room for people to draw in their life events along the same timeline, allowing the better part of an hour for that. Then we'll take time to view it together (I'm hoping that we'll have a visual depiction of our lives apart but yet together -- how we were each living in the same cultural context).

When it's time for individuals to talk about their own events on the timeline (which we'll do over the next 2-3 weeks), I've asked that they pick a few key turning points or events that had a particular impact on the development of their spiritual lives. (So, I think that tracks with what you were saying, AR.)

I know I sound like I'm turning into the EFM Nazi™, but my group is a little bigger this year and it gets easy to break off into side conversations.

--------------------
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Penny Lane
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By all means, keep them reined in! "Rabbit chasing" (and the mentor was one of the worst offenders) ruined EfM for me, particularly in years 3 & 4.

--------------------
~Penny

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Melisande
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Well, it finally happened. I'm in year 4, once again the youngest in the group by around 15 years, and now one of the new people keeps saying things like "As we all know -- except you, [Melisande]." Grr. What with being in year 4, and being pretty comfortable in my EFM skin, it's irritating rather than upsetting (and I'm guessing she'll pipe down after a while, so I'm not looking to smack her down or request mentor intervention), but had this happened my first year, when I listed "being the youngest" as one of my fears for the year, I would have been crushed. The timeline, it is not my favorite approach to the SA, though it makes the most logical sense.

I'm curious about the age breakdowns in your groups. My group has been almost entirely composed of ages 45-60, with me as an outlier (I'm about to be 36, started EFM when I was 31), and this year there's a man in his early 70s (a year 4 transfer from a group that folded).

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The door itself makes no promises.
It is only a door.
-- Adrienne Rich

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RainbowKate
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quote:
Originally posted by Melisande:
Well, it finally happened. I'm in year 4, once again the youngest in the group by around 15 years, and now one of the new people keeps saying things like "As we all know -- except you, [Melisande]." Grr. What with being in year 4, and being pretty comfortable in my EFM skin, it's irritating rather than upsetting (and I'm guessing she'll pipe down after a while, so I'm not looking to smack her down or request mentor intervention), but had this happened my first year, when I listed "being the youngest" as one of my fears for the year, I would have been crushed. The timeline, it is not my favorite approach to the SA, though it makes the most logical sense.

I'm curious about the age breakdowns in your groups. My group has been almost entirely composed of ages 45-60, with me as an outlier (I'm about to be 36, started EFM when I was 31), and this year there's a man in his early 70s (a year 4 transfer from a group that folded).

I started EFM when I was 23 (I'm 28 now) and got a lot of the "everyone but Kate will remember" lines. It got old fast--and being the novelty "young person" gets old. Most everyone else was my parents ages (50's or older). What I found most odd was the person who made the biggest deal about "what I didn't know because I hadn't lived through it" was in her mid 30's. It was as if she'd decided she was old enough to be wise and then tried to beat people to death with it...
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TubaMirum
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Last year we had 4 people in their 20s or 30s; 4 in their 40s or 50s; and a couple in their 60s or older (I'm guessing at the latter). So it was pretty balanced.

This year it's about the same. It's really a good group, I think.

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Autenrieth Road

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Group this year (guesstimating): 2 late 30's/early 40's; 2 mid-40's; 2 early 50's; 4 55-70. It surprised me tallying this up; I tend to think of the group as (a) all much older than me (I'm one of the mid-40s), and (b) mostly retired (where in fact we only have 1 fully retired, plus 2 semi-retired).

Apparently the impression from my first year of EFM has stuck, when we had more retired people, and I was one of the youngest pair, in our early 40's.

--------------------
Truth

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